SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame’s Blue (defense) team didn’t allow the Gold (offense) team to do much in its 54-43 win in Saturday’s Blue-Gold game.
The only thing that looked easy was when nose guard Louis Nix III ran in a two-point conversion after the modified scoring scrimmage’s only touchdown, a 35-yard pass from early-enrollee quarterback Malik Zaire to safety-turned-receiver C.J. Prosise with 9:10 left to play.
The 6-foot-2, 347-pound Nix barreled his way into the end zone for two points as defenders leapt out of the way.
They were scared. I wouldn’t want to tackle me, would you? said Nix, who got to run the offensive play because he won a bet with coach Brian Kelly about his academics.
Even though Notre Dame’s offense produced only 19 first downs and 300 yards with no touchdowns coming from starting quarterback Everett Golson or backups Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix, coach Brian Kelly said there was nothing to worry about.
Really, you’re not game planning, you’re trying to stay away from doing some things, so it’s not really an indication, Kelly said of judging the offense.
Notre Dame had to make a late change to its offensive line for the Blue-Gold game when left guard Chris Watt had to be held out. He was replaced by Ronnie Stanley.
I guess (Watt) slept wrong on his neck, so he was a little bit sore. We kept him out, but nothing major there, Kelly said. What I did like is (Stanley) going in at guard and having that flexibility; he just played tackle most of the time, so the guard-and-tackle combination has been good for us, and I think he competed pretty well.
While Kelly didn’t panic over the offense having little scoring success, he said he wants to avoid the long-yardage situations the Irish found themselves in Saturday.
I don’t know if we went 13 games (last year) and had third-and-longs like we did today, Kelly said. We had some third-and-20s and 30s; that can’t happen.